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'Groundbreakers' united - a new SickKids is rising

Official groundbreaking ceremony marks the first step in building a new SickKids

TORONTO , Oct. 22, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, SickKids Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) held an official groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the transformative first step towards building a new SickKids. This monumental milestone was celebrated with shovels entering the ground on the site of what will become the new Patient Support Centre (PSC). In attendance at this special event were 'Catalyst' and 'Groundbreakers' donors who contributed a minimum of $1 million – including the Peter Gilgan family, whose visionary gift of $100 million was announced in June.

SickKids VS Limits (CNW Group/SickKids Foundation)

"Today we celebrated with our SickKids 'Catalyst' and 'Groundbreakers' donors – those who have put a stake in the ground with a commitment of over $1 million towards building a new SickKids," said Ted Garrard , Chief Executive Officer, SickKids Foundation. "These bold, forward-thinking individuals and organizations give our campaign momentum and inspire others to join the fight. Together, with their extraordinary support, a new SickKids will rise."

The site of the new Patient Support Centre initially housed SickKids' Elizabeth McMaster building – an eight-storey laboratory and administrative building that was built in 1987. For the greater part of this year, SickKids has been demolishing the Elizabeth McMaster building, working to reach ground level so they could begin this exciting new phase of redevelopment: Construction.

"We're truly thrilled to have reached this significant milestone in our campus transformation. Moments like these are not possible without the vision and support of our dedicated staff, government partners, donors and the community," says Dr. Ronald Cohn , President and CEO of SickKids. "As we build a new SickKids, we are defining a new approach to paediatric medicine using precision child health to diagnose and then treat our individual patients. Today, we celebrate a major step forward in our journey to transform care delivery for children." 

SickKids' campus redevelopment project, known as Project Horizon, will result in the renewal or renovation of virtually all clinical care and support areas of the hospital. Today's groundbreaking marks the first critical phase on our way to a new SickKids: the construction of the Patient Support Centre. The Patient Support Centre will house SickKids Learning Institute, which supports over 1,000 world-class trainees, students and learners annually; a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching; bright, modern workspace for professionals, management and support staff, as well as a variety of collaboration and activity spaces accessible to all staff from across the campus.

Another key phase – The Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower – will house critical care and inpatient units. It will reflect the very latest in medical design: a renewed focus on privacy for patients and families, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow transplant/cellular therapy unit, specialized operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.

There are three main phases of the redevelopment project, over approximately 10 years:

  1. Patient Support Centre (PSC): a new 22-storey educational, training, and administrative tower and critical first step, enabling the project to move forward and build a new hospital.
  2. Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower: a new acute-care hospital tower that will help us continue to provide some of the best paediatric care in the world, with a renewed focus on patient and family-centred care. With state-of-the-art technologies, SickKids is working to revolutionize paediatric care by incorporating artificial intelligence and advancing individualized care through precision child health.
  3. Renovations to other areas of the existing campus to support new and renovated outpatient clinics.


SickKids is a leader in paediatric health, yet the buildings do not reflect the quality of care provided for the over 150,000 patients seen each year. When SickKids was built at 555 University Avenue in 1949, the building was the largest children's hospital in the world. In 1993, nearly 25 years ago, the hospital expanded with the opening of the Atrium building at 170 Elizabeth Street. But medical treatments and technology have come a long way since the 1940's or even the 1990's, making it more important than ever before for the hospital to evolve to fully realize the possibilities in children's health.

For SickKids to remain a world leader in paediatric health, SickKids Foundation launched the SickKids VS Limits campaign in 2017 – a campaign which has raised more than 75 per cent towards the $1.3 billion goal. This includes support from corporate partners, community organizations, events, individuals and families, reflecting the full breadth of the donor community. The campaign period is anticipated to run through to March 31, 2022 .

For more information on the project, including details on each of the phases, please visit: www.sickkids.ca/ProjectHorizon

Visit www.BuildtheNewSickKids.ca to donate and learn more about the new SickKids VS campaign.

To see a full list of SickKids' 'Catalyst' and 'Groundbreakers' donors, please visit: https://web.sickkidsfoundation.com/groundbreakerdonors/.

About SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada . Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids – one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions. Thanks to the generosity of the community, and as a result of a record-breaking year in fundraising, SickKids Foundation generated an unprecedented $159 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019 . For more information, please visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.

About The Hospital for Sick Children
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada's leading centre dedicated to advancing children's health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto , SickKids is one of Canada's most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, consistent and coordinated approach to paediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World. For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca.

Engage with us on social media:
Instagram: @SickKidsVS & @SickKidsToronto
Twitter: @sickkids & @sickkidsnews
Facebook: /SickKidsFoundation
Hashtags: #SKTransforms #SickKidsVS

Official groundbreaking ceremony marks the first step in building a new SickKids. (CNW Group/SickKids Foundation)

SOURCE SickKids Foundation


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